HTC is widely expected to launch a high-end Nexus 9 tablet in partnership with Google in the coming weeks, and a new report from The Wall Street Journal all but confirms the deal.

FROM EARLIER: Nexus 9 reveal pegged for October 8th, set to feature a killer new processor

According to people familiar with the matter, HTC has been selected to make the 9-inch tablet for Google, with HTC engineers having been seen at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View in recent months to work on the upcoming device.

While the Journal doesn’t offer a name for the tablet, Google is expected to market it as the Nexus 9, an Android L-running device supposed to offer even better hardware than its Nexus 7 predecessors, and thus expected to be significantly more expensive than the Asus-made 7-inch tablets from previous years.

Apparently, Google has considered HTC as its next tablet partner since last year, in a bid to avoid any manufacturer getting a hold over its Nexus devices. The company may have also been interested in both helping HTC out, as the Taiwanese company hasn’t been doing too well financially for a while now.

“Android is a vibrant ecosystem, and many of the industry players are doing very well. There’s room for many partners to do well and to innovate with Android,” Google told the publication in a comment, declining to explain why it changes partners for Nexus-branded devices.

The Journal did not specify any other details about the HTC Nexus 9, such as specs, prices or release dates, but previous reports said Google will launch the Nexus 9 this fall at the same time with the upcoming Android L software release.

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